Thursday, January 29, 2015

What's Your Dream Age?

The Dream
The Dream (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

        With my birthday coming up tomorrow (January 30th) age is something that's on my mind.   Age is something that crops up for most of us with some frequency as it is a personal bit of data that's often required when we fill out forms, medical records, surveys, and other such statistical information requests.  We may not go around touting our age in public, but age is something that we likely think about most days.

         When we are children we proudly tell others our ages being sure to add the "half" or the number of months if seemingly necessary.   We long to be older and relish in the attention given when we have another birthday, especially when that attention comes in the form of a birthday party.  The festivities that include the party activities, the cake, and the birthday gifts are something we look forward to each year.

         Then somewhere along the line after we've entered adulthood those birthdays become a bit less welcomed.  We know how old we are and would just as well forget it and wish everyone else would forget it as well.   After all, the graying hair, wrinkles, and aches and pains that we never experienced in our former young lives are constant reminders that old age is coming upon us and there is no stopping it.

         I've heard many people say that though their bodies feel older and they can't do a lot of the things they once were able to do, they don't feel any older in their minds.   Mentally, in many ways, I don't feel much different than I did in my teenage or young adult years.   Memories and accumulated experiences are there and perhaps I have a more conservative outlook to my thinking, but my perception of the world around me, many of the insecurities, and my interests are almost the same in a great many ways.

           In other words, if I'm just going along without thinking about where I am in life, in my mind I could be at just about any age of my life.   That is until I start thinking a bit more closely about who I am, what I am, and where I am in my life.  Then age starts to creep though all the cracks of my thinking.   I look in the mirror and see my father.  Surely that isn't me--that's not what I used to look like.  Not exactly like that.

           And yet it is me.  Years of memories flood my brain and I realize how many more lost memories may never again be recaptured.    My brain is overflowing as it keeps filling with newness.  That guy I see in the mirror is that child who once loved birthdays but now has seen too many of them come and go.

           In my dream life things are different.   There I am typically ageless.   I might still be in elementary school, high school, or the university.  In other dreams I am still working at some previous job.   Or I might be where I am today.   The dream characters around me might be from my distant past or my present and they are usually all of a same age, an ageless adult age that is neither young nor old.     I don't think of myself as being any particular age either.   I can run, leap, or even fly without effort, dauntless and carefree.

           Perhaps the dream life is us stepping into another dimension where age is not an issue, but somehow interpreted as a generic adult who has passed childhood  but remains eternally youngish.  Maybe the dreams are a glimpse into heaven.    Most of the characters populating my dreams are equals in age, physique, and mentality no matter who they are and what relation they have been to me in my life.   If I see my father or my grandfather in a dream they are the same age as I am.

            In certain dreams there might be a baby, a child, or someone very old, but those characters do not seem to appear very often--not to my recollection at least.    These stand-out anomalous characters apparently act as symbols or special dream messages, but they are not the norm.  They are like props in the dream drama--or maybe cameo appearances.

            In my waking life I see those around me according to their ages or the ages I estimate them to be.    People are categorized according to their age.   I am in my age group.    When I interact I might often do so without taking age into too much consideration, but if I stop to think about it I am aware.  In dreams I rarely stop to think about my age or anyone's age.   Age in my dreams is typically inconsequential.

           Do you notice people's ages in your dreams?    What age do you seem to be in your own dreams?    Do you think you are actually experiencing visual images in dreams?   Or do you think your mind's processing of the dream thoughts is interpreting the dream into your memory as something that you "saw" while in a subconscious state?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Get Back Here, You Run Away Dream!

Writing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

        Here I am again and this is not totally easy to get back in this groove but I'm going to try.   During my blogging hiatus (in regard to this blog at least) I've been dreaming as much as always--maybe more--and thinking up all kinds of ideas for blog posts about the topic of dreaming.   The bad thing is that I didn't take my own advice about writing it all down.   All these ideas now lost in my netherworld of memories hidden away in the back of my mind or maybe worse.

          As a reminder, and this is not just my idea or suggestion, I've always said that one of the best ways to remember dreams is to write them down as soon as you can upon awakening.   The longer you wait, the less likely you will remember them unless you've been obsessing on them in your thoughts to the point that you can't forget them.  I'm not sure why anyone would want to spend time doing that when you can just write them down in order to preserve the memory.  Even an obsessed idea will eventually be nothing more than a forgotten memory once you stop thinking about it and if that doesn't happen then you might have some other kind of head situation that you might want to address.

        The same thing goes with great (or just interesting but not so great) ideas.   I can't count how many noteworthy ideas have entered my mind only to quietly slip out the back door of my brain because I didn't make any physical written down notes about these ideas.  Fleeting thoughts easily escape us if we don't latch on to them.   You want to remember something?  Write it down!

         So it goes.  I dreamed.  I dreamed stuff up.  And for the most part, it's all gone like air escaping a balloon when you unpinch the end of it.  Once that old air is gone from the balloon you have to make an effort to replace it with new air and you can't put that same old air back in.   That might be a dumb analogy but it's the one that popped into my balloon head so I wrote it down so I wouldn't forget it whether it was a dumb analogy or not.

          In any case that is my excuse or my story or whatever the heck it was.   Or really what this all amounts to is a quickly written stream-of-consciousness exercise in writing down what I did and the consequences of having done it.  This post took  a few minutes to whip up and will take another couple minutes to go back over to edit best that I can.

         And voila!  There's content for this week and another post bites the blog.   Or maybe it just bites.   Hopefully, in the coming weeks I'll be back in the groove and writing something with a little more depth.   But then again...

         Did this make much sense?   Do you like to read free writing as in writing that has been done off-the-cuff?    Do you find it difficult to get back in the blogging mood if you've taken a blogging break?    Are you able to easily recall your mental dalliances or do you need to write them down in order to remember them?